Originally called Ponte San Paolo due to its proximity to the Basilica on Via Ostiense, the bridge was inaugurated in 1863 in papal Rome, in the presence of Pius IX, the last Pope to reside in the Quirinale. Designed by the engineer Barthélémy, it was used as a railway bridge for the Civitavecchia-Termini line until 1911, when the railway was moved to the bigger new bridge close to it and the iron bridge was left in place for vehicles and pedestrians. In these years its name was changed to “Ponte dell’Industria”, due to the industrialization of the area along the banks of the Tiber, the so-called Porto fluviale.
The original iron structure rested on 4 pylons and the central part was movable to allow the passage of of steam boats. Its various components were made in England and assembled on site by a Belgian company. Due to the monumental metal structure that characterizes it, the bridge is commonly known as the “Iron Bridge”: its industrial style places it in a unique panorama for the city of Rome, next to the imposing structure of the Gazometro and all the other “old” industrial plants.
Since 2003, at one end of the bridge a monument commemorates the Nazi-Fascist massacre of ten women, which took place on 7 April 1944 as a reprisal for the assault on the Tesei bakery.
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